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New from MESA: 5 experts pick a recent eye-opening paper on malaria

May 6, 2016 - 07:09 -- MESA Alliance

 


As a scientific worker we need innovation spirit to find new things” commented Tu Youyou in a telephone interview following the announcement of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.[1] The Chinese scientist was awarded the Prize for her discovery of artemisinin in the 1970s, now a life-saving antimalarial drug. Leading a small team of researchers, she was the first to isolate the active ingredient from the Artemisia plant, using ether to extract it.

ACT Consortium: Free resources to develop malaria diagnosis and treatment interventions

May 6, 2016 - 06:32 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

 

ACT Consortium launches free resources for malaria community 
 

On World Malaria Day, ACT Consortium researchers launched five resources to help guide those working in malaria endemic countries.

25 April 2016 - WHO Report Eliminating Malaria

April 29, 2016 - 10:09 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

In May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed a new Global Technical Strategy for Malaria. The strategy includes ambitious goals for malaria control and elimination in the next 15-year period. A key target: eliminating malaria in at least 10 countries by 2020. According to a new analysis from WHO, this goal can be achieved – and surpassed.

WHO News release: On World Malaria Day, a push to eliminate malaria

April 29, 2016 - 10:07 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

 

25 April 2016, GENEVA - A year after the World Health Assembly resolved to eliminate malaria from at least 35 countries by 2030, WHO is releasing a World Malaria Day report that shows this goal, although ambitious, is achievable.

Video: What will it take to end malaria? Bill Gates and George Osborne discuss

April 29, 2016 - 10:05 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

This video was released on World Malaria day 2016. In January 2016, Bill Gates and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne launched a new fund that will mobilize some of Britain’s best scientists to fight malaria. They met in Liverpool to talk about what it will take to end malaria for good.

 

Pulmonary administration of Artemisia afra against tuberculosis

April 29, 2016 - 09:34 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many constituents of medicinal herbs have a low bioavailabity, especially if administered orally. They do not pass the intestinal barrier. This is particularly the case for essential oils. A study (Ryuichi Fujisaki et al., www.tm.mahidol.ac.th/seameo/2012) of the in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity of 47 essential oils showed that several have strong in vitro antiplasmodial activities, with IC50 values < 1.0 µg/ml. But notably these oils showed no efficacy when administered orally.

Partnership between Tropicare and Dutch Malaria Foundation announced

April 24, 2016 - 15:05 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

ALMERE, 22 March 2016. Today, two Dutch organisations that share a passion for making malaria history joined forces through the creation of a unique partnership. Tropicare, which runs the Care Plus® brand, encourages travellers, tourists, and day trippers to travel as healthy as possible. It has an extensive offering of products that are specifically designed for travellers to protect themselves against mosquito bites and malaria, such as repellents, bednets, and impregnated clothing.

Malaria, folates and PABA

March 30, 2016 - 17:38 -- Pierre Lutgen

Folates combine three molecules : pretidine & para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) & glutamate. They were discovered around 1940 and first isolated from spinach leaves. The term folate is derived from the latin word folium.

The malaria parasite has a unique feature of being able to salvage exogenous folate derivatives and/or synthesize them de novo. Due to its high rate of replication, the parasite has a high demand for folates. Folate metabolism is the target of several antimalarials.

Artemisia afra will save Africa

March 23, 2016 - 16:23 -- Pierre Lutgen

A very recent paper of a South African research team shows that among 8 medicinal plants Artemisia afra has the lowest IC50 for impairing the development of late stage gametocytes (P Moyo et al., J of Ethnopharmacology, acceopted 15 March). A very important finding as not many plants have such a significant gametocytocidal effect.

Potassium,sodium, phospholipids and hemozoin

March 19, 2016 - 21:05 -- Pierre Lutgen

Upon infection of human erythrocytes, the phospholipid content of Plasmodium falciparum increases by at least 5 to 6-fold. The main molecules are phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and others. They are often called lecithin although this substance contains many other molecules

Blog: Revolutionary new malaria test could save lives by being faster, more accurate and easier to use

March 18, 2016 - 08:00 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
This is an expert blog by Prof Daouda Ndiaye
 
A new method of testing for malaria that will put less strain on lab technicians and provide more accurate results at the same time could be a watershed moment in the battle against a disease that is one of the top three killers of children worldwide.

When will permanent methods be added by PMI?

March 11, 2016 - 14:43 -- William Jobin

In a recent analysis of the US Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) by Richard Oxborough, it was pointed out that indoor spraying is being reduced and even abandoned as a control measure because of resistance to the cheaper insecticides. In Angola, they have completely abandoned indoor spraying as a method. The newer insecticides are too expensive.

It is alarming that now the only effective control method available is drugs. What will happen when drug resistance spreads? Is PMI prepared for this?

Artemisia plants, prophylaxis and gut microbiota

March 8, 2016 - 08:11 -- Pierre Lutgen

The human gut microbiota has become the subject of extensive research in recent years and our knowledge of the resident species and their potential functional capacity is rapidly growing. Our gut harbours a complex community of over 100 trillion microbial cells which influence human physiology, metabolism, nutrition and immune function while disruption to the gut microbiota has been linked with many diseases.

Are Artemisias the only plants containing arachidonic acid?

February 26, 2016 - 18:24 -- Pierre Lutgen

ARACHIDONIC ACID AND FEVER

Arachidonic acid (AA or ARA) is an extremely important fatty acid involved in cell regulation. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (20:4n6) covalently bound in esterified form in membrane phospholipids of most body cells. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released and oxygenated by enzyme systems leading to the formation of an important group of inflammatory mediators, to the prostaglandins products (PGE₂) by the cyclooxygenase enzyme.

Antiretrovirals and antimalarials (FRENCH VERSION). Un mélange fatal!

February 19, 2016 - 08:57 -- Pierre Lutgen

Lors de la conférence du 19 mai 2014 à l’Université du Nebraska qui portait sur le SIDA, F.A. Fehintola montrait que la nevapirine prescrite simultanément avec l’artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem) réduisait de 70% la concentration du principe actif lumefantrine dans le sang infecté.

Ceci ne fait que confirmer des résultats obtenus en Afrique du Sud (T Kredo , Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Dec; 55(12):5616-23). L’artemether et la nevapirine sont métabolisés par le cytochrome P450 3A4 induit par la nevapirine.

Artesunate causes recrudescence, Artemisia however kills gametocytes

February 16, 2016 - 11:03 -- Pierre Lutgen

A paper from Mali published last week is alarming (AA Djimbe et al., Parasite, 2016. 23, 3). Artesunate does not clear mature gametocytes during oral artesunate treatment and does not prevent the appearance of new gametocytes. This confirms to a large extent the randomized, double blind, large scale clinical trials of Munyanga and Idumbo in Maniema-Congo end of last year (see www.malariaworld.org).

Artemisia defeats schistosomiasis

February 9, 2016 - 12:53 -- Pierre Lutgen

In parallel with the clinical trials run by a team of medical doctors in the province of Maniema on the efficiency of Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra against malaria, (see Breaking News Jan.5 on www.malariaworld.org) they have completed another large scale randomized, double blind trial against schistosomiasis, Artemisia vs Praziquantel.

SAVE THE DATE: Keystone Symposia Conference, Uganda, 19-23 February 2017

February 5, 2016 - 06:00 -- MESA Alliance

MESA has teamed up with Keystone Symposia once again to offer scientists an arena where they can network, think creatively and exchange ideas to meet the challenge of eradicating malaria, this time, in Uganda.

The strong prophylactic and antimalarial properties of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

February 3, 2016 - 13:08 -- Pierre Lutgen

ABSTRACT

Artemisia plants are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which generate prostaglandins and stimulate monocytes. PUFAs possess well documented antimalarial and prophylactic properties. Their half-life in plasma is several days and in adipose tissue several weeks. This may explain the prophylactic effect of regular consumption of Artemisia infusion or powder.

INTRODUCTION

Is genetic modification of anophelines the way to start elimination of malaria?

January 27, 2016 - 18:48 -- William Jobin

From the recent reports out of California and other places, it appears that anophelines can be genetically modified so that (1) they are no longer susceptible to plasmodium infections, and (2) their progeny will be all males! If this can be developed for field use, it looks to me like it is the Beginning of the End of malaria in Africa. But I am an engineer with no experience in genetics. Do you think that this technique can be developed for field application?

Breaking news from clinical trials with Artemisia plants

January 5, 2016 - 15:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

A team of medical doctors in RDCongo, Jerome Munyangi and Michel Idumbo, have run randomized clinical trials on a large scale in the Maniema province with the participation of some 1000 malaria infected patients. The trials were run in conformity with the WHO procedures and compared Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra with ACTs (Coartem and ASAQ). For all the parameters tested herbal treatment was significantly better than ACTs: faster clearance for fever and parasitemia, absence of parasites on day 28 for 99.5% of the Artemisia treatments and 79.5% only for the ACT treatments.

Help me - Was 2015 the beginning of the End?

December 30, 2015 - 15:34 -- William Jobin

A recent report from a laboratory in California offers the hope for a method of genetic modification which could lead to species elimination from large geographical areas, such as Anopheles gambiae elimination from Africa. To quote the New York Times Science section of 22 December, “A gene drive designed to render a population extinct is known as a crash drive. A crash drive being developed for mosquitoes consists of a gene engineered into the Y chromosome that shreds the X chromosome in the cells that make the mosquito’s sperm, thus ensuring that all progeny are male.

Malaria, diabetes and arginine

December 12, 2015 - 09:26 -- Pierre Lutgen

Diabetes burden is rising sharply in the African Region according to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – is a growing concern. In some countries, children and adolescents account for almost half of all newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputation, kidney failure and heart disease.

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